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Maria College Student Selected for Vanguard Student Recognition Award

Vanguard Award

ALBANY, NY—The New York State Nontraditional Employment & Training Program (NET) has announced that Maria AAS Nursing student, Peter Bach, is one of eight statewide Vanguard award winners.  The Vanguard Student Recognition Award recognizes outstanding students who are enrolled in programs that are not traditional for their gender. 

For the 2016-17 academic year, eight winners were selected from a statewide pool of nominees. Dr. Dina Refki, NET Director, stated, “Vanguard award winners are truly role models who demonstrate exceptional competence and outstanding dedication, wisdom and maturity. The fact that they are excelling in a field that is nontraditional for their gender is a testament of their resiliency. It is also a testament of the student- centered and quality education they are receiving at their institutions.”

In the essay, required for all nominees, Peter reflected on his career change and reasons for entering the nursing profession later in life than most students. An introspective search, before his career change, led him to the conclusion that he wanted to pursue an occupation that would be more than just a job. He wanted more in his professional life than just looking forward to retirement someday.  Nursing was the answer.

He stated, “I want to apply expertise and knowledge to helping others in a time of crisis, such as in a medical emergency. This really was reinforced last November when I was at the Crossgates Mall during a shooting incident. When the shots were fired, other shoppers and I fled to a closet, while police looked for the active shooter. I realized my first year nursing training helped me to be a composed leader in the crisis. I was able to compassionately and skillfully assure the others to stay calm.”

Victoria A. Callagan EdD(c) RN, Program Director, Associate Degree Nursing stated, “We are very proud of Peter’s commitment to nursing education and the leadership traits he brings to the profession. He has juggled work, family, and academic responsibilities to pursue his dreams and he will be a great role model for future nurses.” 


About Maria College
Founded in 1958, Maria College is one of 16 colleges and universities in the United States sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.  The private, co-educational, Catholic college in Albany serves almost 1,000 students in a variety of degree and certificate programs including liberal arts, healthcare management, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, and health and occupational sciences. Maria College prepares students for meaningful careers in healthcare and service so they can make a difference in the lives of others.

For Immediate Release